Corey Colmey Drum Instruction Newsletter #3 (Read this one. There’s some good stuff in here.)

Hi everyone, and thanks for taking a moment to peruse my 3rd official newsletter.  It’s quite an accomplishment for me to keep up with social media and electronic communication these days, so if you don’t mind, I’ll just take this time to pat myself on the back.

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Ok.  Moving on.  This year has been such a blast so far.  I’ve been extremely fortunate to gain some new students (yes, both children AND adults.  I’m a firm believer in that we’re never too old to start something new!), and have fostered much deeper relationships with my existing students, so it’s been such a blessing to see everyone grow.  I have the extreme pleasure of seeing students gain insight not only on a musical level, but psychologically as well.  I see a lot of emotions on a daily basis, as I’m always trying to challenge my students.  Through the tried and true rigors of the old school approach (Hard Work Pays Off) that I instill here, there really isn’t another way for students to go, but upwards.  Sounds simple, right?  Well, it is, and it isn’t.

Time.  Getting better at a chosen skill takes time.  Time is something we seem to have less and less of each day.  And for many of the students I see on a weekly basis, studying with me can be a real grind.  I always focus on a strong foundation first and foremost.  This can be disillusioning to some, as we might not get to rock out on the drum set in some lessons, which seems to be a focus for many.  You have no idea how many times a day I get the question, “When can we get on the drumset?”  Although I sympathize with all my students, as I was in their shoes, and still am to some degree, my answer is always the same.  “When you can play the other things that I asked you to play.”  And do do that, it takes time.

Discipline.  In order to connect with the fact that we are getting better at a chosen skill, we have to have a small sense of discipline.  This means that we sometimes need to practice when we don’t feel like it.  We need to come to lessons sometimes when we don’t feel like it.  We need support from our friends.  Your kids need YOUR support.  Although I’m pretty big on the students being responsible for their own success, a little reminder from Mom or Dad, brother or sister, aunt or uncle NEVER hurts.

Repetition.  Remember the old adage, “Practice Makes Perfect?” ……  Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, we’ve all heard that before, and most of us know that’s not really the case.  Anyone can practice things over and over again, and still not gain much benefit.  Focusing the mind on what one is doing is much harder, but when we can do that, and repeat the action, that’s when we gain insight.  So, it’s not the practicing, but the repetition that is important.  Our bodies can’t grasp new techniques and movements without instilling the action inside our muscle memory.  This takes the act of repeating the action over and over.  So, I would challenge the notion that Practice DOESN’T make PERFECT.  I’d rather think of it as FOCUSED REPETITION gains FAMILIARITY.

Love.  My gosh.  This is probably the most important of all.  Time and time again, I see students beat themselves up over the fact that they can’t accomplish a task, whether it’s in lessons, at home, at school, or elsewhere.  I constantly try to get my students to take a step back and look at the bigger picture.  Why is it you are doing this?  What about music excites you?  What are you hoping to accomplish?  Are you god’s gift to the universe in that everything should come easy?  If not, then we can move forward and see that the obstacle is THE WAY.  Love the obstacle.  Love yourself for facing it.  Take it at whatever pace you need to, but don’t think it’ll ever be easy.  🙂

With that, I’ll conclude with my few final announcements.